So maybe I was being a little over-the-top when I suggested no-one even knows where Cape Verde is. I almost went there a year or so ago for Monocle. During South Africa’s apartheid regime Cape Verde was used by South African Airways as a place to refuel enroute to Europe and the US – SAA was not allowed to fly across mainland Africa. Now the islands are taking advantage of its strategic location once again. The US, EU, Nato and China all have interests there and the country has become only the second African nation, after Botswana, to escape the UN’s list of least developed nations.
The only problem was working out how to get there. Cape Verde’s 12 islands lie 500km due west of Senegal. At the time I was planning to go there were no flights from mainland Africa to Cape Verde, meaning I would have had to fly back to London and get a connection from there. Unsurprisingly, my editors decided that would be a bit of a waste of money and sent the London-based Andrew Mueller instead.
His article, along with Miguel Fernandes’s photos, is here if you have a Monocle subscription.